Compel AMCON to publish information on Nigerian debtors, lawyer prays court
A lawyer, Osita Enwe has asked the Federal High Court, Lagos to compel the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), its Director General and the head of its legal department to grant the plaintiff access to information on debtors under the non-performing loans. Also, he is praying the court to order AMCON to publish in national newspaper as well as social media the particulars of the debtors.
The plaintiff in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/270/2020, is praying the court to order the respondents to furnish him with specific information of the AMCON obligors and debtors under the non-performing loans.
At the last hearing, the court directed the defendant’s counsel, S.O Adedokun to ensure he pays default fee for serving a counter affidavit to the plaintiff late, having been served since June and adjourned to February 17, 2021 for hearing. That was after the plaintiff’s counsel, Ifeanyichukwu John had informed the court that he was served in the morning of the sitting.
In his originating summons brought pursuant to section 1, 2(6), 20 and 25 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and under order 34 Rules 5(1) and (2) and order 6(1) of the Federal High Court Civil procedure rules 2019, Enwe prayed for a declaration that he has a right to receive from the defendants, particulars of the eligible financial institutions, obligations under the non-performing loans or eligible bank assets, and outstanding amount of money of the 1st defendant’s obligors and debtors under the non-performing loans.
Enwe,in a 15-paragraph affidavit sworn by one Chinweuba Chukwu, the plaintiff, averred that he wrote to the defendants in accordance with FOI and requested for the 1st defendant to publish the information in accordance with the law.
He stated that the defendants thereafter reacted to the application and denied plaintiff access to the information on the ground that it pertains to personal information under the FOI Act in respect of obligor and that they will publish the particulars of debtors pursuant to AMCON amended Act 2019 in the newspaper.
The plaintiff further stated that about N500 trillion of public funds are now detained and held by the 1st defendant’s obligors and debtors to the detriment of the ordinary Nigerians.
“A declaration that the defendants have a duty to disclose and grant to the plaintiff access to the 1st defendant’s obligors and debtors under the non-performing loans or eligible bank assets of all eligible financial institutions and to publish the information on national newspapers, 1st defendant’s website and on 1st defendant’s social media handles.
He is praying the court for an order of mandamus, compelling the defendants jointly and or severally to provide and grant to the plaintiff access as well as directing the defendants to pay to the plaintiff the sum of N500, 000 as fine for wrongful denial of access.
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